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ResourcesResearch IntegrityNine pitfalls of research misconduct – Science (Aaron D. Robinson | May 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Nine pitfalls of research misconduct – Science (Aaron D. Robinson | May 2018)

 


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Academic leaders must audit departments for flaws and strengths, then tailor practices to build good behaviour, say C. K. Gunsalus and Aaron D. Robinson.

One of us (C.K.G.) teaches leadership skills and works with troubled departments. At almost every session, someone will sidle up, curious about a case study: they want to know how what happened at their university came to be known externally. Of course, it didn’t.

A recommended read for research centre directors and anyone who facilitates research integrity professional development activities. The point being, there are small missteps that can lead to awful outcomes.

From what we’ve observed as a former university administrator and consultant (C.K.G.) and as a graduate student and working professional (A.D.R.), toxic research environments share a handful of operational flaws and cognitive biases. Researchers and institutional leaders must learn how these infiltrate their teams, and tailor solutions to keep them in check.
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People who enter research generally share several values. Honesty, openness and accountability come up again and again when C.K.G. asks researchers to list what makes a good scientist. The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that these values give rise to responsibilities that “make the system cohere and make scientific knowledge reliable”1. Yet every aspect of science, from the framing of a research question through to publication of the manuscript, is susceptible to influences that can counter good intentions.
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